Flowers of Heaven.

"Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.

But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

Paul says, “I have learned … to be content;” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave—a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content."

-Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

I have been thinking some about contentment lately. About thankfulness. We have been laboring to document what we are thankful for as next week approaches, and what an easy labor that has been! We are blessed beyond measure, and yet discontentment is "natural to man as thorns are to the soil." In one moment, I can be as contented and filled with gratitude as I've ever been, and in the next moment, my heart can bludgeon with desire for something more, something new, something different. Can you relate? In this midst of a world full of things to see and desire and enjoy, I want to labor for this "flower of heaven": contentedness. I want to ponder Christ anew this season and treasure Him above all else. I got this book of Advent readings in the mail recently and I'm so looking forward to reading through it as I anticipate Christmas.
I thought I might just share all of that in case anyone can relate:). I have seen this book recommended several times in the past few years, but it was usually well into December and I never got around to it. Here's to hoping this year will be different.

Thanks for reading:).

1 comment:

  1. Laura thank you for this encouragement. That was so what I needed to hear. I struggle constantly with discontentment (as we have so often talked about) so this was such a good perspective to gain. And I just got that book in the mail too! :) So funny! (or wild :) ha! I too have meant to get it for a couple of years but December always creeps up on me and by the time I think of it its almost Christmas. So I'm excited to have it for this season. Miss you and love you friend.